Round 3 of the Malaysia Superbike Championship will take place once again at Sepang International Circuit this weekend. Taking lead in the overall standings, Abdullah Qayyum will be back to challenge his contenders Md Shafiq Ezzariq and Arash Tsunami in the Berjaya Sompo Yamaha Y16ZR Race MasterClass.

The trio has been excellent in their performances throughout the season. While Qayyum holds a total of 79 points, his closest rivals, Shafiq and Arash are not far behind with only a 21-point difference at 58 points in total.

All three riders have showcased not only profound skills in handling their machines but have also been smart in working out strategies that suit their riding techniques and in tackling their moves.

Riding aboard the Yamaha Y16ZR machine, the race class has not only been a platform for further evaluation of their abilities but has also given them a different set of exposure and experience to accelerate their riding goals.

Commenting on the coming round, Qayyum said, “This season has been quite a blast for me. Of course, it was a tight competition with the riders who are equally competitive. With this race category, I was able to identify some interesting techniques and strategies.

“It is not easy especially with so many riders in one race but I think that is also the beauty of the race class. Sepang circuit has also been a great playground and I think I have become familiar enough to understand what is required when I race.

“For the coming round, I have been keeping up with my physical and mental strength. It is a lot of maintaining a good physique to ensure that we have the right weight for an optimised speed. My goal for sure is to take the win but with the competition being tough, let’s see how it ends.”

Shafiq who recently tied the knot and just returned from his honey-moon said, “It has been quite a ride for me in this championship. No doubt, the stiff competition, while it’s in a way pressuring, it is also the best way to improve and get ahead of others.

“Most importantly is to think on our feet especially during the race because riding in this race class can be quite unpredictable. Of course, there is no room for error because it slows your momentum and literally drags you to the back troop. My preparations basically are the same – improving my physical and mental strength.

“With the likes of Qayyum and the other riders, it is going to be tough for sure but I will go all out to finish on the podium.”

Arash said, “The riders are fierce. They are competitive because different riders have different sets of skills and some of them are from different race categories in the Cub Prix championship. So, we don’t know what to expect of the riders.

“So, on our part, we just have to be 100% prepared and make sure that we can supersede them. I have been working out a lot as preparation for the finale. I do a lot of jogging and workouts at the gym.

“It is not going to be easy to maintain the current position for sure but I will do my best to tackle the challenges during the race. I hope that luck will be on my side too.”

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